Sustainable Fashion - A Niche Career In India?

Sustainability has also emerged as a leading characteristic of textile fashion products in recent times and already attracting youths interested in making a career in the fashion industry

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Did you know that it takes almost 3,000 litres of water to make one cotton t-shirt? Waste of resources and environmental damage are some pressing concerns in the clothing sector. To tackle these challenges, the emerging concept of ‘sustainable fashion’ seems to be revolutionising the world of textile and apparel design. Sustainability has also emerged as a leading characteristic of textile fashion products in recent times and already attracting youths interested in making a career in the fashion industry. 

What is sustainable fashion?

Also known as eco-fashion, sustainable fashion is a movement towards greater ecological integrity and social justice when it comes to fashion products. Sustainable fashion not only addresses fashion textiles or products but also the entire way the clothing is produced and who produces it. The movement is intended to combat the large carbon footprint that fast fashion has created by reducing greenhouse gas emissions. 

New career opportunities 

The growing sense of ‘responsible fashion’ or ‘ethical fashion’ has opened new avenues for those interested in the concept of sustainability and ‘green earth’ as they can find immense opportunities in the Indian fashion industry now. Since this fashion concept is new, it has the potential to get a competitive advantage over existing fashion trends, in terms of standing apart from the crowd from a career point of view and creating your own distinct identity. 

Big brands embracing sustainable fashion

Fashion market insights also indicate that even big brands are facing growing pressure to deliver on social impact and climate targets. There has been a growing demand for top-level executives with expertise in sustainability. The rise of sustainability executives within the fashion industry reflects social and operational changes reshaping the sector. Not only this, but sustainability leaders are also finding a swifter path to promotion due to their technical expertise in the concept that is the need of the hour for the fashion industry. 

Sustainable fibres are providing solutions for companies facing issues regarding environmental problems. Two natural sustainable fibres are organic cotton and bamboo, although China covers 80 per cent of the bamboo processing industry, as per a report. 

Brands are also experimenting with other natural fibres or substances that have less damage to the environment during their production. For instance, some companies are developing new materials, like leather made from grape skins and orange skins. This means, you can grow leather in a laboratory rather than relying on animals who are often subjected to horrible conditions.

Natural and synthetic fibres

Human beings have been using natural fibers from a long time that are obtained from both plants and animal sources. Natural fibers like cotton and bamboo grew naturally and did not harm the environment until fertilizers, pesticide and other harmful chemical were used to enhance their production. 

However, at the start of 20th century, new developments were made in the field of synthetic fibers and their higher production and popularity reduced the demand of natural fibers. Since then, big brands thrived on the rampant use of synthetic fibers, and it captured the big market share rapidly. Synthetic fibers production involved many chemicals and harmful substances that are not favorable for the environment and society. 

There is no doubt that sustainable fashion has a niche market in India as many startups have joined the trend that was mostly prevailing in Europe and developed countries before. With this, a plethora of opportunities wait for those who are interested in revolutionising the fashion world with ethical fashion. As big brands start understanding the importance of environmental justice by reducing the carbon footprint, they are seeking talented sustainable fashion experts who could help them make profit, but not at the cost of environment and climate change.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house

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